News

FLASHES

Sex, Lies and Apparatchiks
U.S. Senator John McCain must have a soft spot for known liars.
Shortly after New Times revealed that reporter David Schwartz had been fired by the Arizona Republic for impersonating a prominent Phoenix attorney, McCain himself called Schwartz and offered to help find him a job.

Scott Phelps, spokesman for Phoenix Mayor Skippy Rimsza, says McCain arranged for Schwartz to meet with Governor Fife Symington's chief of staff. Nothing's worked out yet. Phelps confirmed that Schwartz also has talked about a job with Skippy. And ex-mayor Paul Johnson has lunched with the unemployed impostor.

McCain didn't return phone calls. The Snowy Haired Senator isn't talking to print reporters at all these days (unless, of course, they've been canned); he's just too busy running around acting like Phil Gramm's secretary of defense. Or Phil Gramm's secretary.

Schwartz, you'll recall, was shown the door in December after his Republic editors learned that he had attempted to romance a woman by claiming that he was Bruce Meyerson, a former state Court of Appeals judge now in private practice in Phoenix.

R&G posers are no stranger to McCain. Former publisher Duke Tully is godfather to one of the senator's children.

A Feel-Good Campaign
Phoenix City Councilwoman Thelda Williams' mayoral bid isn't official yet, but she's mulling choices for her campaign team.

One prospective campaign chair: Cindy McCain, wife of the Snowy Haired Senator.

"She's definitely on my committee," Williams says of Cindy, who, at last report, was scrambling to beat a Percocet jones. She also was scrambling to get into a diversion program that would keep her from getting busted for her prescription acquisition.

Thelda says Cindy may co-chair her campaign with Jim Weeks. "It's not for sure," Williams says.

Oh, what the heck, Thelda. Take two.

A Tempe Legend
Just when citizens of Tempe thought they finally had rid themselves of Harry Mitchell, he's baaaaaack. Forever. And he's not coming cheap.

Five downtown city buildings are now officially part of the Harry E. Mitchell Government Center. The city also is reviewing bids for $110,000 worth of "artistic signs" and a commemorative sculpture honoring the former mayor.

Mitchell, a retired Tempe High School teacher, masterminded Tempe's downtown makeover during his 24 years on the city council, the last 16 as mayor. He retired from the council in 1994, and ran unsuccessfully last year for state superintendent of public instruction.

During Mitchell's tenure, the historic downtown commercial and residential districts were mostly razed and replaced by a score of uniform brick-and-glass buildings and parking garages. They call it "Olde Towne Tempe," future home of Hooterse.